Trinidad under curfew…what now?

Photo credit: Innis Francis/Trinidad Express

Sweet, sweet TnT… What’s happening to you?

After a terrifying weekend in Trinidad where 11 people were killed in just 48 hours, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced a limited state of emergency on Sunday evening.

Speaking from her home where she had been recuperating from dengue, Persad-Bissessar said:

“The current crime spree dictates that more must be done and stronger action has to be employed now. The situation cannot continue like this without a response commensurate with the wanton acts of violence and lawlessness; it must be a response as well that will halt the current spike in gang activity and crime in general in the shortest possible time”.

She explained that the state of emergency would:

“Would allow for the members of the Defence Force and for persons from the military to have certain powers which allow for powers of search and seizure for powers of arrest, which they do not at present have. What this would do, amongst many other things, is to augment the manpower of the police service. We have 5,000 members of the Defence Force, able bodied men who are trained, who can assist at this time in the greatest battle that we are facing in the war against crime.”

Since that announcement, my social networks, like that of many other islandistas, has been buzzing – with people expressing bewilderment, sadness and solidarity with Trinis and bbm blasts of the areas where the state of emergency is in effect.

And of course, there have been flashes of that signature Trini sense of humour – jokes about bringing back the ‘curfew fetes’ which first came into being during the state of emergency in the 1970s and again during the 1990 coup and jokes about a ‘curfew sex’ fuelled baby boom stopping folks from playing mas for Carnival 2012.


7 comments for “Trinidad under curfew…what now?

  1. MR
    August 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    There’s nothing remotely humourous about a curfew or the need for one! Your last paragraph should have been omitted from your post.

  2. Father Harold Imamshah
    August 24, 2011 at 1:01 am

    A surprising escalation of crime in our wonderful home land of Trinidad and Tobago, although the reposrts do not indicate a rise in crime in Tobago.May the hand of God bring an end to violence, hate, the death toll and instead inspire the Government together with the Opposition Parties to work together with the public to find lasting peaceful solutions and a restoration of Order.May the Police Service and the Defence Force protect and serve and wherever the unemployed suffer or the addicted lose hope, may there be willing citizens to help quell the rising discontent in the land and may gainful employment be eventually available.

  3. islandista
    August 24, 2011 at 1:12 am

    @MR – trust me, my intention was not to be insensitive. Some of my closest friends in the world are Trini.

    My point was that Trinis can take anything – even something as grim as a state of emergency and bring humour and happiness to it.

    The jokes about the curfew fete actually reminded me of a time at uni when a hurricane was bearing down and the Trinis on hall promptly decided to hold a hurricane lime.

    That kind of humour is just what Trinis do and it’s not at all a bad thing.

  4. September 2, 2011 at 2:04 am

    This has now come to pass , we are to blame do not let other islands or countries to invade. And destroy us us.

  5. September 2, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Race is a big factor and we as one must stand togetherger .love love your brother.

  6. kd
    September 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I never thought Trinidad had an issue with crime. I know many islands blame Jamaica for the Caribbeans bad reputation with crime, but this goes to show that crime is everywhere in the caribbean. Is it the jamaicans who are ruining sweet Trinidad? I hope they get it under control, not only in trinidad but the carib as a whole.

  7. Geschke Mike
    November 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    How long did the 1990 curfew last for ?

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